Are You a Courageous Man?
I love asking men this question:
“What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?”
When a man pulls back the veneer and asks a penetrating question like this, an awkward silence can suddenly descend, sucking the words right out of the room. Men’s brains sort of catch and hang up. You can almost see them spinning and searching, trying to process. And yet I’ve discovered that even though the responses are often slow in coming, it’s a question men truly love to answer.
I’ve heard stirring stories of men doing their duty at key points in their lives. Being faithful to their wives when nobody was looking. Giving up pornography and confessing to their wives. Tackling difficult issues with their children. Doing what is right in the workplace, even when it’s not convenient or profitable. Many men have told about conquering their fears to step up and square their relationships with their fathers: looking a father in the eyes and forgiving him, honoring a father who didn’t always deserve it, disagreeing with a father on a major decision, and standing their ground.
And yes, I’ve heard some phenomenal stories of war — heroic soldiers who grabbed grenades in midair and threw them back at the enemy! I’ve determined that the man who claims he’s never done anything courageous doesn’t understand what courage really is — or how often he faces decisions that require courage. It takes courage to step up.
So, what’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
Adapted with permission from Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood, by Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife Publishing, 2012.
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